All but War is Simulation
12 SEP - 15 OCT 2020
Opening: 12 SEP 2020, 6 - 9 pm
TUE - FRI 2 - 7 pm
SAT 12 - 7 pm
Fragile & Callie's are pleased to announce the collaboration with Miloš Trakilović for his solo show All but War is Simulation.
The fact that war is sightless is something you've read, re-read, and accepted. Nevertheless, you are beginning to doubt this truism, and the doubting bleeds into nebulous thoughts that lose their punctuation. War is -
You try again: War is -
War is -
War is sightless.
No. You know that war isn't exactly sightless because you've been tracing its contours again and again in your head. There are actual material traces besides synthetic images and deep fakes: the engineering of war through doctored images.
I return to the site.
Nobody sees war today. It's a phrase you've read: an approximation of a post-WWII sentiment written in a post-modern aftermath. This fact gets repeated over and over again by two lovers in a film written by Marguerite Duras, where the two characters, a French woman and a Japanese man, attempt to speak about the atom bomb but struggle to find the words to express their separate experiences of it. They instead exasperatedly speak about the fact that they either saw nothing or everything. The fluctuating extremes and the haunting they experience results in a drawing of war without touching it: it, war, remains nameless. But if they never touch it how can they verify its lack? This is when the doubting begins to bleed the phrase.
Today, the conclusion that war is sightless feels dated. But people still throw it at you to remind you that all representations of war will materialize in a lack: dead matter that refuses representation. And you've grown accustomed to this failure as an artist who deals with war but is warned to distrust its representation.
Nevertheless, the phrase about the negation of sight still produces an uneasy annoyance in you because hidden in it is a virulent binary that divides spectatorship:
1. Those who have watched televised representations of war, and thus, have experienced nothing of war besides its images.
2. Those who have lived through war and whose minds refuse the linear ordering of catastrophe. These people, thus, also see nothing as the experience of war defies representation.
This old binary threatens to wear you out.
More importantly your body tells you that you have seen something even if it can't be called war. But the feeling can't be quantified by a naming, and you are well aware that now you are drawing a blank that can't be named that instead turns into that old clichéd binary.
And what does it mean to see anyways?
Seeing altogether has become a complicated matter, even though telecommunications has brought endless access to images.
It started to occur to you that images don't tell the truth. There are deep fakes, engineered suffering, synthetic suffering that changes depending on who is in power. These images do not speak about that suffering. Or do they?
Then there's the issue of memory. You keep getting triggers, but it's not images you are seeing. It's more like different sensations that deliver you to some unexplained reality. Is it war? There's nobody around you to verify this reality. Reality feels complicated. You can't touch it, but you can sense an intensity that promises your delivery to a something.
You persist, but all you can muster is a War is -
Text: Vanessa Gravenor